Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-mzfmx Total loading time: 0.322 Render date: 2022-08-11T14:28:15.793Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 3 - Technologies of Proximity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2022

Susan L. Carruthers
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
Get access

Summary

Fears surrounding Dear John letters have often encoded larger concerns – in civilian society and military communities – about new communications technologies that purport to bridge the gap between “over here” and “over there”: the home front and the war zone. From reel-to-reel tape recordings in Vietnam to cellular telephony, email, and social media in Iraq and Afghanistan, the double-edged character of technological innovation has fueled anxiety about the sustainability of love in wartime, and the lethality of Dear Johns in particular. Many observers of wartime’s emotional landscape have equated speed of delivery with a more devastating coup de grâce. As the digital age has brought service personnel and civilians into more continuous contact, “home” has come to appear (in the eyes of some military commentators) less a point of sentimental anchorage than a dangerous source of toxicity. But this chapter cautions against uncritical endorsement of a “ballistic” theory of communication that equates physical velocity with psychological impact. Servicemen in past wars found slow-moving mail – or protracted silence – just as hard to process as texts zapped in real-time across continents.

Type
Chapter
Information
Dear John
Love and Loyalty in Wartime America
, pp. 86 - 113
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×